Urinary Obstruction & How Facebook almost killed Bae-Bae

Meet "Johnny" [a.k.a "Bae Bae"]

Bae-Bae was diagnosed with an end-stage urinary obstruction. Urethral obstruction is a life-threatening condition, which can result in severely increased potassium levels, increased kidney values, cardiac arrhythmia and death. Unfortunately, due to the very long period of time that had elapsed, Bae-Bae was in a moribund state on arrival and showed significant derangements on emergency blood work. His serum potassium was elevated to fatal levels, causing a severe cardiac arrhythmia.

This is an important example of: looking to the wrong places (like Google and Facebook) for medical advice. Much of that advice comes from people with no medical background, and as you can see in Bae Bae's case, because his owner followed Facebook advice, this cat almost died. This is just one of countless examples we see.

The other big problem here is that the owner was not prepared for the financial reality of medical care. In most situations, this would have meant that we would have had to kill (euthanize) Bae Bae instead of save him. However, we were lucky enough that a local rescue group and non-profit truly came to the rescue. Part of the terms of Bae Bae receiving treatment, however, was that his owner had to surrender him and never see or hear from him again. Very, very sad.

What Happens When a Pet's Owners Can't Afford Medical Care?
"Johnny" [a.k.a. "Bae Bae"] was the chosen recipient for the Twin Trees Emergency Assistance Fund for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.  He was surrendered to our local animals shelter, WAG, when his owner was unable to pay for the medical care that he required to treat a life-threatening urinary obstruction.

We truly believe that the best solution to the problem of pets being surrendered to animal shelters is education. If more people really understood the responsibilities of pet ownership before getting a pet, then we feel that many of these situations could be avoided. Surrendered pets (especially during a medical crisis) are a drain on animal shelter resources.

You can meet more cute patients from the ER and find lots of free vet advice and tips on how to keep your pets safe from preventable emergencies in the Twin Trees Vet Pet Classroom.

In this video we discuss vital information that pet owners need to know to be prepared for pet ownership. The responsibility to provide timely medical care when your pet is sick or injured, is just as much an obligation of pet ownership as are providing food, water and shelter. These are hard conversations to have, but failure to provide timely medical care in an emergency constitutes neglect, and this is a form of animal cruelty or abuse.

A lot of owners say vet care is too expensive. If an owner didn't feed their pet because "pet food is too expensive," it would still be neglect. Regardless of the reason, failing to provide medical care to a sick or injured pet (especially in an emergency) is neglect, and neglect is a form animal abuse. This is why the pet industry needs to be regulated, so that owners can be screened before buying or breeding pets, so that innocent furbabies will not be neglected and abused. If you already have pets, it is extremely important to have good medical insurance so that your babies can receive medical care in an emergency (and not have to be killed for cost reasons).

We discuss the importance of getting timely medical care if you are worried or concerned about your pet, and the importance of being financially prepared for the worst case scenario.

The pet problem is vast and widespread. More than 50% of households in North America own pets, however many pet owners do not really have what it takes to actually care for a pet for its entire life. As a result, millions of innocent pets suffer, are surrendered to shelters, and are euthanized every year. Being part of the solution means raising awareness.

The beautiful part about Johnny's story is that the children in the community also felt compelled to raise awareness about these issues. The poster above was made by a 5 year old girl at the local school. Posters like this one, made by kindergarten and grade 1 children, were put up all around town, with the hope that people would become more informed on vital issues affecting animals.


We chose to add this poster to our permanent art collection at Twin Trees Veterinary Clinic. When we contacted the girl so that we could purchase the piece from her, she refused to accept payment for her artwork and requested instead that we make the donation to WAG.

She then made us another card that read- "Thank You For Helping Us."

We are all in this together, and we need everyone's help to be advocates for animals.

Bae Bae’s donation was made in the loving memory of a really great dog, Ben The Dog.



Having good medical insurance is highly recommended and can be life-saving in situations of catastrophic illness and injury. View the Pet Insurance Comparison Chart to compare the pet insurances and pick the one that best suits your needs.

ASK YOUR QUESTION ON TWIN TREES VET TALK! Have a quick question? Want to run something by us? Or just need our two cents? This is your chance! Enter your questions here. and each week we will select a handful of questions to answer.

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